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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve got an1888 era SAA, with 6 clear notches that we’re purposely applied on rear of strap at base of grip, and 3 more on the front, obviously to track a memorable occasion. This Colt is in fine shape, 20% blueing remaining, serial #’s match as do assembly numbers.
How common are the “notches”, and I suspect they are commonly faked? Any info sure would be appreciated. Serial #126xxx
Oh yes, this is my first post and looking forward to the knowledge of this forum.
Thanks
 

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Lots of fakes, probley most, but I think some notches tell the truth- and meant somebody got shot. I once baught a 1900 SAA with 4 notches on the original gutta percha grips, fake or not I think they were put on there way back. Because of the condition of the grips. Took them off and put some repros on it.

No way to tell what it means. Might be 4 shot rattlesnakes, or to many cowboy novels-or?

Some SAA collectors here will have more knowledge about the history. First time I ever saw notches filed onto the metal parts of a gun (backstrap etc.) were in owners photo's here on the Colt Forum. Never heard of that before.

We know that Patton did that when he was a young Lt. (notched his grips.)

Welcome Aboard!
 

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Welcome! We'd all love to see pictures by the way.

There used to be a saying in the antique Colt field, altho I haven't heard it in years now, but it was something along the line of "...subtract $50 for every notch carved in the grips" when evaluating the gun! That obviously was meant tongue in cheek but still implied that most were thought to be faked. I have a 1907 mfg SAA with 6 notches on it grips, and they are worn pretty smooth along with the rest of the grips so they have been there for years. We will never know what they represent. Yours being in the backstrap is a bit more perplexing. Perhaps at one time they did extend into the grips....are the grips original to the gun?
 

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If every notch carved on old Colt grips represented some dead hombre, the West wouldn't have had enough men left to share a bottle. I've got an 1882 with real good eagles that some dolt carved 20 notches into. Could be one of those Masterson 'greenhorn' Colts, I 'spose. Got a 1pc wood with 4 notches also. Those who say that notches could represent coyotes or such...I've shot 100's of critters and never once considered notching anything. Frankly, I think the whole 'notching the gun' thing came out of Dime novels and Hollywood.
 

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Welcome to the Colt Forum!! Notches simply add to the mystic of the gun's past! One never knows what they were put there for, but we can always believe the gun was owned by a wild west cowboy who was in many gun fights and earned them that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Will have to post some pics for sure, just figuring out the ops of this site. The notches are on the heel and toe of the grip frame, the grips are the eagle and Colt version. I will be lettering this Colt soon to see some details. I’ve looked it over and can’t find anything that screams “fake” on this old revolver, but it has almost no original finish yet the metal does not seem buffed, stampings are decent but barrel address is a small font and a bit weak. Corners are sharp. Will post pics soon.
 

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Pics are always welcome. Sounds like an interesting one to see.

Like Chaffee, I have never notched any gun for any reason. But I bought an entry-level Winchester model 70 (the Black Shadow version) in 1995 to hunt deer until I got “something better.” In my my 20-something mind, that meant something “cooler” and more expensive.

From the the first day I shot that rifle to today (using the inexpensive scope that came with the rifle as part of the package from WalMart!) that darn thing will hold an inch at a hundred yards any time I do my part.

While I have used a couple of lever guns to harvest deer in the interim, that M70 has remained my deer rifle all these years. Wish I had a notch on the stock for every deer it has put in the freezer.
 

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I have seen guns with little silver deer heads tacked in to the stock to keep track of how many. Notches could be for coyotes, wolves, deer, or anything you can think of.
 

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I well remember those little deer head round studs being sold in the 1950`s in the gun magazines. As a teenager back then I was tempted myself but didn't do it. I bought a new 5" S&W 27-2 about 1970, sent it back to the company and had all the options done, wide target hammer, trigger, red insert front sight, WOR site, presentation grips , wood case AND my name engraved in a oval on the sideplate in gold. Today I would probably have a hard time selling it with my name on it. Oh well, I have a three month old great grandson I hope that gets it about seventeen years from now.
 

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I’ve got an1888 era SAA, with 6 clear notches that we’re purposely applied on rear of strap at base of grip, and 3 more on the front, obviously to track a memorable occasion. This Colt is in fine shape, 20% blueing remaining, serial #’s match as do assembly numbers.
How common are the “notches”, and I suspect they are commonly faked? Any info sure would be appreciated. Serial #126xxx
Oh yes, this is my first post and looking forward to the knowledge of this forum.
Thanks
Where the Pictures???
 

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Welcome to the forum, enjoy! You might try using a ten power magnifier to look into the notches. If they are old there will be signs of wear on the edges and crud inside, with no bright metal visible. The first Colt I bought had two small notches cut into the lower edge of the wood grips, and it lettered to Colorado......

JP
 

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Notches on 1909 Colt SAA .45

Here is a photo of the notches on the backstrap of my Colt SAA (SN: 310720) made in 1909. Although my revolver isn't old enough to have been used during the Wild West period, it was carried during the early 20th Century when there were plenty of deadly labor union disputes, confrontations along the US/Mexican border, skirmishes with cattle rustlers, shootouts with outlaws and criminals, and of course the Mexican Punitive Expedition (1916-1917) against "Pancho Villa." It was during this last event that a young LT George S. Patton, Jr. shot and killed two of "Pancho" Villa's lieutenants with his Colt SAA .45 revolver (SN: 332088). To commemorate this event, Patton cut two notches into the ivory grip of his Colt SAA. He carried this same gun throughout WWII while serving as a general.

Again, here's a photo of the backstop of my gun:

Rusty Edwards
 

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Here is a photo of the notches on the backstrap of my Colt SAA (SN: 310720) made in 1909. Although my revolver isn't old enough to have been used during the Wild West period, it was carried during the early 20th Century when there were plenty of deadly labor union disputes, confrontations along the US/Mexican border, skirmishes with cattle rustlers, shootouts with outlaws and criminals, and of course the Mexican Punitive Expedition (1916-1917) against "Pancho Villa." It was during this last event that a young LT George S. Patton, Jr. shot and killed two of "Pancho" Villa's lieutenants with his Colt SAA .45 revolver (SN: 332088). To commemorate this event, Patton cut two notches into the ivory grip of his Colt SAA. He carried this same gun throughout WWII while serving as a general.

Again, here's a photo of the backstop of my gun:

Rusty Edwards
Hey Rusty does that gun letter with wood grips, they sure look nice
 
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